At this time of the year, this corner of The Square presents its 2016 Awards. It is a way to honour outstanding people who have made Windsor much greater than it was and, through wise actions or accomplishments, give the city’s denizens reasons to smile and simply say, “Ain’t that great.”
The awards, as is their wont, start on the political front.
Amid a lackluster line-up at city hall, one councilor stood out for a plan to actually do something about a situation in the once rosy city. In this case, Ward 2 councilor John Elliott succeeded with initiating a plan to have the proper authorities take care of the eyesore of cars parked on front lawns.
In a city in which the majority of its councilors work for the betterment of their egos, as illustrated by their grandstanding, Elliott shows himself to be a man of the people.
On the arts and culture front, the award goes to local realtor Rhys Trenhaile. He took the city’s name to greater heights with the role of Duty Officer Sanders on two episodes, during the fall season, of the fascinating and popular new American television show Designated Survivor.
He joined fellow Canadian Kiefer Sutherland, who has the lead role of a minor Cabinet member who, as the last man standing, becomes President of the United States.
The serial, shot in Toronto, proves Hog Town doesn’t always have everything. In this case, the Mark Gordon Company, producers of the drama, reached out to Windsor to find just the right actor to play Sanders.
The educated award goes to Peter Knowles. He is well known in these parts for not knowing the geographic location of the city.
In fact, when he heard the municipal government was interested in hosting a FINA event, he blurted out, “Where the Hell is Windsor?”
Or so reported the Windsor Star on August 28, 2012.
After winning the bid to host the FINA short course this year, the city gave Knowles the title of manager and put him up in a nice taxpayer-paid pied-à-terre. Oddly enough, Knowles who lives in Britain, was actually born in Ontario, but had no idea where the motor city hangs out.
After all was said and done, Knowles did a pretty job in pulling all the pieces together. Certainly after spending an estimated $28 million on this swimming calendar minor event, he now knows probably as much about where Windsor is as he does about the city.
It was certainly money well spent to expand his knowledge.
And finally, the entrepreneur award goes to a bright young lady courageous enough to start a global jewelry business in Windsor.
Known as Artistic Falls, its founder, Salwa Yak, is not only building awareness of her unique products but also Windsor, with appearances on news programs including time on the Discovery Channel.
Even in its darkest days Windsor has bright lights deserving of celebration.